The watchdog warns that images of child sexual abuse by artificial intelligence may flood the Internet

New data released by the Internet Watch Foundation (IWF) shows that thousands of artificial intelligence (AI)-generated images of children, many as young as two years old, of child sexual abuse could flood the internet. make an impact

The foundation found that the images produced are now so realistic that they can be considered real images under UK law. Thousands have already been discovered.

IWF Executive Director Susie Hargreaves said in a statement: “Earlier this year, we warned that AI images would soon be indistinguishable from real images of children suffering from sexual abuse, and we could see the number of such images rise to many more. to be.” “We’re past that point now.”

Some of the images reviewed by the IWF are “difficult for trained analysts to distinguish from real photographs.” The technology will only get better and create more obstacles, the foundation warned.

The IWF, a UK-based organization responsible for removing child abuse images from the internet, said its “worst nightmare” was coming true. According to them, these images are probably based on real faces and bodies of children, which are then built into artificial intelligence models.

In addition, criminals use this technology to create images of celebrities portrayed as children in sexual abuse scenarios. There have also been cases of photos of children wearing clothes being uploaded online and criminals suing the technology to remove the clothes.

In one month, the IWF found nearly 3,000 images in breach of UK law depicting child sexual abuse, the majority of which looked too realistic to be taken as real.

The organization said it was concerned that as AI-generated imagery became more common, it could distract analysts and divert resources away from real cases.

“International cooperation is vital,” Hargreaves’ statement said. “This is an urgent problem that requires action now. If we don’t control this threat, this content will threaten the Internet.”

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